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West Surrey

Godalming, England
Godalming, England
Rankings
  • AddressEnton Ln, Godalming GU8 5AF, UK

Architect Herbert Fowler’s course designs at famous locations like The Berkshire, Saunton and Walton Heath are well known to many in the golf world but he was also involved in other lower profile projects, such as the course at West Surrey Golf Club.

Derek Markham’s West Surrey Golf Club Centenary book, entitled Playing Through, refers to a column in The Surrey Advertiser and County Times from 7th May 1910:

“The new links of the West Surrey Golf Club, which have been in course of construction for about two years on land which formed part of the Enton Estate, are to be formally opened on Thursday, June 9th.

The course, which is an 18-hole with three very fine short holes, is of an excellent length of about 6,300 yards, and occupies some 187 acres of freehold land, the property of the Golf Club Company.

It was originally laid out by the well-known champion J.H. Taylor, and the greens were designed by Mr. W. Herbert Fowler, Chairman of the Walton Heath Golf Club, who superintended the construction of the course and the formation of the club.”

Elsewhere in the book, the author states: “The role of J.H. Taylor in the creation of the West Surrey course has been somewhat overshadowed by the higher reputation for course design enjoyed by Fowler at the time. Whatever the individual contributions of Taylor and Fowler to the establishment of West Surrey on the golfing map, the Club could only benefit from such distinguished combined expertise.”

At the grand opening of the golf course, the young West Surrey professional Fred Robson and Charles Johns, the Ashford Manor professional, teamed up to play a couple of exhibition matches against none other than J.H. Taylor and James Braid, both of whom would eventually claim five Open Championship titles.

For the best part of a century, the layout remained largely intact (apart from during World War II when the clubhouse was requisitioned as a base for Canadian soldiers and four fairways were turned over to crop production) until 2002, when a fairway irrigation system was installed, all putting surfaces were converted to USGA-specification greens and a number of holes were lengthened.

Nowadays, the course extends to just less than 6,500 yards from the back markers, playing to a par of 71. Both nines end with straightforward par fives, each of which offers a good chance of picking up a birdie. Architect Ken Moodie of Creative Golf Design was engaged in 2016 to renovate the course and he embarked on an ambitious project to selectively clear trees around the property and redesign fairway and greenside bunkers.

Architect Herbert Fowler’s course designs at famous locations like The Berkshire, Saunton and Walton Heath are well known to many in the golf world but he was also involved in other lower profile projects, such as the course at West Surrey Golf Club.

Derek Markham’s West Surrey Golf Club Centenary book, entitled Playing Through, refers to a column in The Surrey Advertiser and County Times from 7th May 1910:

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Herbert Fowler

Herbert Fowler was introduced to golf at Royal North Devon when visiting nearby Bideford on banking business in 1879 and he became a club member, winning the Prince of Wales Medal two years later.

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